I was on an email thread earlier this week – a conversation between a Techstars company and its mentors. There was a healthy discussion around the current areas of focus and whether to start monetizing or focus on users/growth (or do both).
“The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither”
This stuck with me for the rest of the day. Such a simple thing, but so very true. Its a great gut-check. Are you focused? Are you about to catch your quarry? FOCUS! is a startup rallying cry, almost to the point of being a cliche’ at this point, but its valid. Early stage market validation and finding product-market fit are so, so important and yet many companies get distracted and try to do too many things at once.
To be fair, I’ve also observed there being a lot of grey area around what it means to be truly focused. For some companies, focusing on user acquisition and raw growth vs trying to monetize those users is enough. For others, driving success with one user case, or in one vertical may be enough. I’m working with a company now that is super early but is doing 4 things at once. They are laser focused on the mission and vision, but the tactics require doing many things at once. They are focused on winning the market, and everything they do rolls up to that strategy.
In all cases, its the end result that matters. Every business is different, but if you sit with this quote for a minute…it just might illuminate something valuable. Happy hunting!